RDC : Félix Tshisekedi, malgré sa large victoire électorale, est en panne d’institutions

DRC: Félix Tshisekedi, despite his large electoral victory, is lacking institutions

The National Assembly is dozing, the government is waiting and discontent is growing.

“It is the fruit of original sin”, says a former Congolese deputy who preferred to leave the political world on the eve of the elections of December 20. “Everyone knows what happened between December 20 and 27. Yet everyone turns a blind eye. In 2018, at the end of the Kabila era, the boss of the Ceni at the time, Corneille Nangaa, and his right-hand man Norbert Bashengezi were placed under sanctions by Washington for having distorted the political game. Today, the current boss of the Ceni, who spoiled the elections, is not worried”.

overwhelming majority

The observation is bitter but is consistent with the testimonies collected this May 13 in the DRC, even within the presidential family which has an absolute majority in the National Assembly of nearly 475 seats out of 500. And yet, almost four months later the vote and three months after the swearing-in of Félix Tshisekedi, power is “in latency”according to the expression of an African diplomat who knows the DRC and its complex balances well.

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Given the tensions within it, the plethoric presidential majority had to go through a primary to nominate its candidate for president of the National Assembly. The name of Vital Kamerhe came out at the top of this ballot ahead of that of the outgoing presidents of the Senate, Modeste Bahati, and of the National Assembly, Christophe Mboso. Next weekend, the office of the lower house should finally be installed and Kamerhe should return to the perch he occupied between 2006 and 2009, when a certain Modeste Bahati was his quaestor.

War of egos…

But despite this primary desired by the Head of State, Vital Kamerhe's candidacy is not unanimous. “His nickname Kamerhéon pursues him”, explains a member of the majority. “This is a political beast that we must be wary of. Even in the biological family of the President of the Republic, he is not unanimous”. Maman Marthe, the president's mother, the widow of Étienne Tshisekedi, does not hide her sympathy for Christophe Mboso who knew how to be very servile until 2023. Which allows him to consider a position as second vice-president of the National Assembly despite his 81 years and the little weight of his political party.

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And race for compensation

The presidium of the presidential majority seems to have decided that the Office of the National Assembly will be the seat of political compensation. The son of Modeste Bahati is presented as future quaestor with, as deputy, Caroline Bemba, the sister of Defense Minister Jean-Pierre Bemba. Enough to try to appease the heavyweights who judge that they have not been sufficiently rewarded for their loyalty to Félix Tshisekedi during his first mandate, even if it means shaking the sacrosanct regional balance which prevails in this gigantic country shaken by a thirty-year war on its eastern border.

To try to satisfy the rich and powerful Katanga, the presidency of the Senate should go to the outgoing Prime Minister Sama Lokonde, the post of Prime Minister going to Judith Tuluka from the central Kongo province.

A casting far from unanimous among the majority. Two hundred rebellious elected representatives marked their opposition to this Office, denouncing “tribalism, nepotism and favoritism”. By torpedoing the democratic game during the legislative elections to offer himself a majority as large as improbable to consider a revision of the Constitution which could allow him to stay in power beyond his second term, Félix Tshisekedi, “traveling president”, in the words of President Sassou Nguesso, has built an unmanageable team that he can only restrain with greenbacks. But the war in the east and the lifestyle of the presidency are emptying the state coffers. The overweight of the majority therefore threatens the health of the country.